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Reports: Pacers first-round draft pick Jarace Walker had elbow surgery

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers’ first-round draft pick Jarace Walker has had surgery on his right elbow, according to reports.

The eighth overall selection in the 2023 NBA Draft needed the surgery to remove some “loose bodies” in that elbow, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He is expected to be fully healthy by the start of training camp this fall.

Walker has dealt with problems in that right elbow prior to surgery. The former Houston forward initially injured it during this year’s Sweet 16 game against San Diego State, and later reaggravated it in May — causing him to miss his pro day in Santa Barbara, California.

Walker’s impressed during the Pacers’ Summer League games. After playing about 30 minutes in each of four games, Walker averaged 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds. His shot still needs improvement, as he only made 34 percent from the field.

His best offensive game came against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he scored a team-high 20 points and snagged nine boards. Pacers Summer League head coach Jannero Pargo can see a successful future for the 19-year-old.

”I’ve been telling people all along he’s a very versatile player,” Pargo said after the Thunder game. “He’s really comfortable with the ball in his hands, playing in the pick and roll, and with [Bennedict Mathurin and Isaiah Jackson] out, we wanted to exploit that and just take a look at that and see how it looks.

Pargo complimented Walker further. “He’s very versatile, very gifted offensively and he sees plays. He’s able to put the ball on the floor and create opportunities for teammates.”